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Gov. Lujan Grisham requests additional federal law enforcement assigned to New Mexico

Federal agents will support governor’s efforts to grow local law enforcement, hire new officers

SANTA FE – Following her continued investments in New Mexico public safety, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has asked the Department of Justice to support her request to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for additional federal law enforcement resources to support state and local public safety efforts amid a nationwide increase in violent crime.

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Gov. Lujan Grisham asked for additional FBI agents to be assigned to New Mexico following a similar request made in June to FBI Director David Wray that did not result in additional resources. The letter sent recently to Attorney General Garland notes that Director Wray recently reported a 50% decrease in homicides when the FBI initiated a surge of agents and resources to its office in Buffalo, New York.

“Once these resources are allocated to New Mexico, I am confident the FBI and state law enforcement officers will achieve similar success as the Buffalo office,” the governor writes in the letter to Attorney General Garland. “Both New Mexico law enforcement agencies and the FBI are partners in addressing and preventing violent crime. It is therefore imperative to provide the tools and support to achieve our common goal of ending violent crime in New Mexico.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham has invested more in public safety than any previous administration and secured additional federal crime-fighting resources in recent years. In the last four years, Gov. Lujan Grisham has invested nearly three times more in public safety infrastructure than in the previous eight years combined.

In her letter to the Attorney General, the governor highlighted her recent delivery of more than $40 million to 29 law enforcement departments across the state for the hiring of over 300 new officers, requesting additional federal agents to support the state’s ongoing work to grow the ranks of law enforcement officers statewide and bolster public safety efforts across New Mexico.

“We owe our law enforcement officers an immeasurable debt,” the governor wrote in her initial request to FBI Director Wray. “Therefore, we must provide the best resources available as they constantly place their lives in danger to keep our communities safe. At this time, New Mexico’s law enforcement officers require the support and resources that only the federal government can provide.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham has devoted significant resources to stem the drug trade and accompanying violence in New Mexico communities. In addition to allocating tens of millions of dollars for officer recruitment and retention, the governor also signed into law a 16% pay increase for New Mexico State Police officers. The state will also soon break ground on a $20 million state-of-the-art command center for the State Police. The state recently partnered with federal agencies to fight crime on the streets of New Mexico through Operation Blue Crush, a 90-day effort that concluded in June and resulted in more than 300 arrests and the confiscation of over $5.4 million in fentanyl. In 2019, the governor also created the Fugitive Task Force, which has apprehended more than 540 violent fugitives in New Mexico, and coordinated multiple police surges around the state.

Earlier this year, the governor signed a bipartisan package of initiatives designed to combat crime that include:

  • Strengthening penalties for gun crimes, including a felon in possession of a firearm and the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony;
  • Creating criminal statutes relating to violent threats, property damage, and chop shops;
  • Eliminating the statute of limitations for second degree murder;
  • Signing the Violence Intervention Program Act, accompanied by $9 million in the budget to establish violence intervention programs statewide;
  • And allocating several million dollars for Crime Reduction Grants.

The governor is committed to pursuing every available avenue to continue to address the scourge of crime, including increased firearm safety measures and a rebuttable presumption to keep violent criminals behind bars.